Peter Merholz

Consultant, Author, and Founder
Humanism at Scale

Design Leadership Fundamentals

Case Study Conference Speaker
Workshop Instructor
November 9, 2023

Design leaders often don’t realize that the skills that got them there aren’t the skills that will carry them forward. While to be a great UX/design practitioner is to be a remarkable craftsperson and problem-solver, to be a great leader shifts the focus on relationships, communication, and business-savvy, leveraging these three archetypes:

  • Coach (managing down, getting the most out of the team)
  • Diplomat (managing across; ensuring design’s voice in the process)
  • Champion (managing up; handling executives and stakeholders)
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Peter Merholz has worked at the intersection of design, technology, and humans for over 25 years. Currently, he’s an independent consultant focused on improving the effectiveness of design organizations. His clients include JP Morgan Chase, Ceridian, The New York Times, Roblox, and Starbucks.

He co-founded Adaptive Path, the premier user experience consultancy, acquired by Capital One in 2014. After leaving Adaptive Path, served as a design executive, leading teams at Groupon, OpenTable, Capital One, Snagajob (now Snag), and Kaiser Permanente.

He co-wrote Org Design for Design Orgs, still the premier book on building in-house design teams, and co-hosts Finding Our Way, a podcast exploring design leadership.

Oh, and, yeah, he coined the word “blog.”

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